INTERVIEWS WITH THE CAST & CREATIVES OF OTHELLO

 

Evan Lewis Smith plays Othello

Evan Lewis Smith as tybalt, Romeo & Juliet, Griffith park free shakespeare festival 2015. Photo by grettel cortes

Evan Lewis Smith as tybalt, Romeo & Juliet, Griffith park free shakespeare festival 2015. Photo by grettel cortes

What’s your hometown?
Bloomfield Hills, Michigan

College, grad school, professional theater training?
Wittenberg University - BA Theater. USC - MFA Acting. ACT summer training Program. British American Drama Academysemester training program. Robey Theater scene study classes

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Good health and prosperity for all

What is your idea of misery?
Dying before you actually die

What is the trait you most deplore in others?
I’m too wrapped up in my own stuff to have an opinion about other people

What is your favorite journey?
The character I play

Who is your favorite hero and/or heroine in fiction?
l like Batman

What is the natural talent you’d like to be gifted with?
Right now the ability to do any accent/dialect just by hearing it once

What is your favorite motto?
hakuna matata

What is your latest, favorite, Netflix binge?
Latest - Inside the American Mob. Favorite - Narcos

David Melville plays Iago

David melville as leontes in The winter's tale, griffith park free shakespeare festival 2013. Photo by grettel cortes.

David melville as leontes in The winter's tale, griffith park free shakespeare festival 2013. Photo by grettel cortes.

What’s your hometown?
Great Horkesley (village in Essex, UK)

College, professional theater training?
Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Christmas Morning - only the kids let me sleep in.

What is your idea of misery?
Having to write birthday cards.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Clamshell packaging.

What is your favorite journey?
My father’s house to the Rose and Crown pub (in England)

Who is your favorite hero and/or heroine in fiction?
Bertie Wooster

 What is the natural talent you’d like to be gifted with?
Play the piano

What is your favorite motto?
It’s not the despair, I can handle the despair. It’s the hope!

What is your latest, favorite, Netflix binge?
Better Off Ted


Kalean Ung plays Desdemona

Kalean Ung as Marina in Pericles, Independent Studio. Photo by Grettel Cortes

Kalean Ung as Marina in Pericles, Independent Studio. Photo by Grettel Cortes

What’s your hometown?
San Diego, CA

College, grad school, professional theater training?
I received my undergrad degree in music. I have a Bachelor of Music in vocal performance from UC Santa Cruz. I received my MFA in Acting from CalArts.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
To be a part of an artistically thriving community and to support myself as an artist. To have choice in my work and with my time. To be at home with my fiancé and cats and eat really good food.

What is your idea of misery?
Being trapped in a job just because I'm scared I won't be able to support myself.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Chewing with your mouth open- does this count? I guess that's a pet peeve. A trait I deplore would be insincerity, any kind of fakeness or pettiness. 

What is your favorite journey?
My favorite journey is the one I am on now! I have loved being surprised on how my life is unfolding. Getting to go to MFA and work on my craft was my hardest and most favorite three years of my life.

Who is your favorite hero and/or heroine in fiction?
Maleficent

What is the natural talent you’d like to be gifted with
To be especially quick at learning languages.

What is your favorite motto?
"Don't be dumb." The phrase my parents said to us that permitted us to have freedom but to always think about what we were doing before we did it.

What is your latest, favorite, Netflix binge?
To be honest, I haven't binged in awhile, it's been busy!

Melissa Chalsma is the Director

Melissa Chalsma with luis galindo, the taming of the shrew, griffith park free shakespeare festival 2014. photo by grettel cortes

Melissa Chalsma with luis galindo, the taming of the shrew, griffith park free shakespeare festival 2014. photo by grettel cortes

What’s your hometown?
Moved many, many times—born in Columbus OH, but I grew up in small-town Massachusetts; Gainesville, FL; and Manhattan

College, grad school, professional theater training?
Oberlin College (BA), PTTP University of DE (MFA)

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
A crisp, clean room with no clutter and a breeze coming through the window. Quiet.

What is your idea of misery?
Fear for my loved ones.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Lack of integrity. And unkindness.

What is your favorite journey?
Any journey of the imagination.

Who is your favorite hero and/or heroine in fiction?
Lucy in the Chronicles of Narnia. 

What is the natural talent you’d like to be gifted with?
Musical ability and singing!

What is your favorite motto?
We are in blood stepped in so far returning were as tedious as going over.
Also, it will be all right in the end—so if it’s not all right, it’s not the end.

What is your latest, favorite, Netflix binge?
Person of Interest

 

Chris Porter created the Sound and Music

Composer Chris Porter

Composer Chris Porter

What’s your hometown?
Born near Baltimore, Educated near Cleveland, living in Los Angeles (but still miss the snow) 

College, grad school, professional theater training?
Undergrad--Baldwin-Wallace University and Conservatory. Grad--California Institute of the Arts

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Having accomplished everything I needed to, to the best of my abilities, and sitting down to watch a good movie with my cat curled up on my lap.

What is your idea of misery?
Discussing taxes and finances.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Conceit.

What is your favorite journey?
IRL: Going somewhere new outside of the city.
Metaphorically: A good story.

Who are your favorite heroes and/or heroines in fiction?
The Tramp, Buster Keaton in his films, Sully, Horton, The Giving Tree, Grandmamma, Captain America, Atticus Finch, Lucy Pevensie.

What is the natural talent you’d like to be gifted with?
Not being awkward.

What is your favorite motto?
Let's try it!

What is your latest, favorite, Netflix binge?
Bob's Burgers

Faqir Hassan plays Roderigo and Lodovico

Faqir hassan as Montague with Mary Goodchild, romeo & juliet, griffith park free shakespeare festival 2015. Photo by grettel cortes

Faqir hassan as Montague with Mary Goodchild, romeo & juliet, griffith park free shakespeare festival 2015. Photo by grettel cortes

What’s your hometown?
Jacksonville, Florida

College, grad school, professional theater training?
University of Mary Washington(Sociology), CalArts(Acting)

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Ice cream

What is your idea of misery?
The bottom of ice cream

What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Sorbet

What is your favorite journey?
Spoon to my mouth. 

Who is your favorite hero and/or heroine in fiction?
Ben, Jerry

What is the natural talent you’d like to be gifted with?
Lactose tolerance

What is your favorite motto?
A la mode

What is your latest, favorite, Netflix binge?
The Roosevelts


Fiona Cheung as Mammy, The Cripple of Inishmaan, at Juilliard

Fiona Cheung as Mammy, The Cripple of Inishmaan, at Juilliard

Fiona Cheung plays Emilia

What’s your hometown?
Delavan, Wisconsin

College, grad school, professional theater training?
B.A. Rhetoric UC Berkeley, Alvin Ailey Certificate Program, 8 months at Univ. of Pennsylvania Law,  graduate of Juilliard Drama

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Neverending pasta, garlic, olive oil, and cheese.

What is your idea of misery?
LA summer sun.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Idiocy.

What is your favorite journey?The old trip westbound over the San Francisco Bay Bridge, coming into the city, before the new bridge was built.

Who is your favorite hero and/or heroine in fiction?
One Hundred Eyes in the Marco Polo series on Netflix, played by Tom Wu.

 What is the natural talent you’d like to be gifted with?
The ability to eat neverending pasta without gaining weight.

What is your favorite motto?
Now I see the world with one hundred eyes.

What is your latest, favorite, Netflix binge?
Marco Polo

 

Edgar Landa plays Brabantio and Montano

Edgar LANda on his favorite journey

Edgar LANda on his favorite journey

What’s your hometown?
Born and raised in the City of Angels

College, professional theater training?
University of Southern California School of Theatre

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Standing on a mountain or in a jungle in the middle of the night by myself during an endurance race.

What is your idea of misery?
Listening to Ted Cruz.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Unkindness.  Entitlement.

What is your favorite journey?
Any journey in which the outcome is unplanned and unknown. OR...trekking to Mt. Everest Base Camp.

What is the natural talent you’d like to be gifted with?
Running fast.

What is your favorite motto?
Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever.

What is your latest, favorite, Netflix binge?
Downton Abbey

 

Danny Brown plays Bianca

Danny brown with Bernadette Sullivan, Much Ado About Nothing, Griffith Park Free Shakespeare Festival 2015. Photo by Ed Krieger

Danny brown with Bernadette Sullivan, Much Ado About Nothing, Griffith Park Free Shakespeare Festival 2015. Photo by Ed Krieger

What’s your hometown?
Neptune, New Jersey

College, professional theater training?
B.F.A. in Acting from Marymount Manhattan College in New York City

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Chillin' on a patio somewhere on a beautiful day when the weather is transitioning from summer to fall, with a great cocktail in my hand, surrounded by all my loved ones. 

What is your idea of misery?
Feeling unwanted.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Arrogance.

What is your favorite journey?
Little picture- taking my dog for her walk every day. Big picture- I have to say the one I'm on right now.

Who is your favorite hero and/or heroine in fiction?
The Little Prince of the book The Little Prince

What is the natural talent you’d like to be gifted with?
Playing piano.

 What is your favorite motto?
There's always something to toast to.

What is your latest, favorite, Netflix binge?
Chelsea Does

 

Sean Pritchett plays the Duke of Venice and Cassio

Sean as Capulet in Romeo & Juliet, Griffith park Free Shakespeare Festival 2015. Photo by Grettel Cortes

Sean as Capulet in Romeo & Juliet, Griffith park Free Shakespeare Festival 2015. Photo by Grettel Cortes

What’s your hometown?
Tom Waits sang, “Anywhere I lay my head, I’m gonna call my home.” Well, if he ever sang that in St. Louis I’d sing it with him because that’s my hometown.

College, grad school, professional theater training?
Mizzou Tigers Rugby (1st XV, Backs Co-Captain).  MRFU Representative XV (1st XV, Western Collegiate All-Stars Tournament).   Manchester University (2nd XV, BUSA Shield Finalists).  

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
After the USA take gold in Rugby 7s at the Rio Olympics this summer, a surprise knock at the door reveals a bunch of complimentary Godmother’s from Bay Cities Deli, a case of Chateau de Chasselas, tickets to the Paul Chesne Band, and a free car wash!

What is your idea of misery?
It’s the kind of car wash you drive through and the conveyor chain breaks leaving us stuck under the soap cannon.  The big rotary brush keeps dropping down hard onto our windshield only it’s not a brush but an unraveling mummy from Egypt’s 18th Dynasty.  Each time he thuds onto our car he tells another bitter story about how King Tut shafted him.  This goes on for three hours until the chain is fixed.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Certainty.

What is your favorite journey?
The journey from the page to the stage.  Theatre coffee & that first read thru.  Choosing your characters accent(s) & sock(s).  Discovering new ways to bump into old furniture.  Each night creating a story for an audience who choose to be there. 

Who are your favorite heroes and/or heroines in fiction?
Eliot Rosewater in “God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater” by Kurt Vonnegut.  The Skin Horse in “The Velveteen Rabbit” by Margery Williams.  Anything Kilgore Trout might have written, said, or thought. 

What is the natural talent you’d like to be gifted with?
All of ‘em.  Wait, natural for who?  Birds?  Flying.

What is your favorite motto?
“It’s just a ride.” – Bill Hicks

What is your latest, favorite, Netflix binge?
Don Hertzfeldt’s “World of Tomorrow,” “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” and “Mighty Machines,” (episodes involving airplanes or dump trucks).

Othello at Independent Studio

March 19 - May 7
Thursdays - Saturdays at 7:30, Sundays at 2:00